Terra Formars: Volume 5 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
March 14, 2015 - 20:57
Writer(s): Yu Sasuga, John Werry
Penciller(s): Ken-ichi Tachibana
Letterer(s): Annaliese Christman
$12.99 U.S., $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 208pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: M (Mature)
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Rated “M” for “Mature”
In the late 26th century, the overpopulation of the Earth reaches the breaking point, so humanity must find new frontiers and a new home. Knowing that this time would come, Earth has been in a centuries-long terraforming process of Mars, introducing moss and cockroaches to hasten the transformation. Two missions, Bugs 1 and Bugs 2, travel to Mars to see the results of that terraforming, and what they discover is the horror called Terra Formars, giant humanoid cockroaches.
Twenty years after the ill-fated Bugs 2 mission to Mars, the new mission, Annex 1, is launched. This mission is crucial to finding a cure for the A.E. Virus, which is currently plaguing Earth. A safe strain of the virus must be discovered, or the mission must bring back a bunch of possible carriers. However, during the trip to Mars, the crew discovers that Terraformars have infiltrated the Annex 1. Captain Akari Hizamaru initiates “Emergency Plan Delta,” dividing the humans into six divisions.
Terra Formars, Vol. 5 (Chapters 31 to 41) opens with Division 5, which is composed of a crew of Germans and South Americans. They are under ferocious attack by the Terraformars, but team leader, Adolf Reinhard, is determined to destroy them and save his crew. He unleashes his “Bugs Procedure” powers, derived from the electric eel, with thunderous results.
Meanwhile, Division 1 has its own problems, as the crew faces an enemy that keeps coming and keeps adapting. Enter the spine-tailed swift.
THE LOWDOWN: The Terra Formars manga is a strange manga, but sometimes it seems familiar, in terms of genre, as when it embraces its battle manga side. Terra Formars Volume 5 reveals more strange human-animal and human-insect hybrids. This gives the story a creature (human-hybrid) on creature (Terra Formars) shonen quality to this volume. Suddenly, the sci-fi horror turns like shonen action.
The past few volumes of Terra Formars have also been “E.I.” - educational and informative. That's cool, but it is time for change. There should be an upcoming volume giving us the secrets of the Terra Formars.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of seinen manga and of weird fiction will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Terra Formars.
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